A Bookkeepers Tale: My Journey With Intuit Brought Me Here
Sometimes, as we work through life, they say that things happen to you for a reason. That sentence seems so cliché to say, although it is a true statement. Back in 2009, I was working late one evening and came across an Intuit ad looking for people interested in helping out the community. The article stated that they needed experienced Accounting Professionals willing to participate in a unique experience, discussing their work, clients and software. A little vague, a little scary and very exciting, all at once! After all, it was Intuit®, the product that I was in the trenches with every living, breathing day with my clients. I decided to fill out the application and see where it would take me. Little did I know that one click would change the rest of my Accounting career?
Soon after, I received a call from a soon-to-be, and one of many favorite Intuit employees, Amy Ball, inquiring about my business, my life and why I was interested in the opportunity. The application had led me to Intuit Accountants Council, a unique experience that was rewarding, as well as an adventure and a two-year commitment to Intuit.
I received a call, and one week later, I was aboard the infamous Intuit Accountants Council. I can’t really recall anything Amy said except that I would need a photo and a bio. I’m pretty sure that Amy could hear me in California without my phone saying I would see her in the fall for our first council meeting. Next stop, bio and photo. Yay me … oh man, I’m just a bookkeeper; who does a bio and a photo, and a photo of what? I was so very nervous to email and ask these important questions.
As I soon learned right from the start, from the wonderful Jill Ward and fabulous Rich Walker, founders of the Accountants Council, there are three things that stand firm:
- There are no stupid questions.
- Once on council always on council
- We represent the hundreds of accounting professionals standing behind us.
I took these words to heart, sometimes I’m sure at the chagrin of the Intuit Professional staff. But, I was there to learn, tell them about all of the issues we had out in the field about the product and make sure that I had a voice not only for myself, but also for my peers.
The two years flew by and I made many friends, learned my voice could get stronger and learned that ears are an important part of the process of learning. Listening to what is being said and hearing the overall pieces of the hardworking teams and their thoughts are just as important as the end-users’ experience.
I continued to expand on my experience to reach out and beta test, as well as keep my friends at Intuit strong in my life, in an effort to help both parties. They were very valuable to me, and I wanted to add value to their products. I still wanted to be a voice, so I became a member of Intuit’s Trainer writer Network, and started to get certified in every product that I could, in order to really entrench myself so that I could help my clients. I wrote articles and learned about the technology and the changing cloud environment.
Funny thing about learning and education is that it forces a person to grow and expand. I soon realized that my thirst had begun to help my clients, while also giving me the confidence to reach out to my peers socially on social media and in conferences. Attending more conferences allowed me to see the growth in our industry and still stay in touch with my friends at Intuit. As I’m beginning to make new friends with other applications and other accounting software, I am able to now see that the world is a large place where I can no longer be just a shut-in bookkeeper.
The growth of my company began to change, and my firm transitioned and blossomed into a virtual cloud-based business model. This allowed me to utilize the technology shift I had been visualizing in the industry, which I had learned through networking and attending conferences.
I can’t really tell you all where it happened. But, I think the perfect storm was at Scaling New Heights in San Antonio. I remember the networking opportunities of TSheets, meeting Matt Rissell, David Leary, Mark Dean and Robert Chandler. Moreover, I witnessed the vision of Joe Woodard, who said that that the ProAdvisors® and Bookkeepers were no longer going to be doing data entry.
I picked up steam at this conference and never looked back. I became a regular on #QBOChat (twitterchat) with Cathy lconis, and traveled on the crazy road trip with the #QBConnectOrBust crew to QuickBooks® Connect 2014. I have developed my business, achieved goals by helping some of my clients move to the cloud, and improved the accounting and business processes using technology.
Along the way, I have never forgotten #3: I am speaking for the hundreds of professionals behind me.
The decision is to now make my voice as loud as I can and scream from the rooftops!
I am now teaming up with the best in the business … the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB). ICB is the largest membership of not-for-profit certified bookkeepers in the world. ICB is a global community for bookkeepers, located in 110 different countries with more than 180,000 members. Together, we are going to raise the level of standards in the United States of Certified Bookkeeping. I am the new CEO of ICB. Our goal in the US is to create a community for bookkeepers, where we have a voice and create a higher set of standards for the bookkeeping community.
Intuit is teaming up with ICB to create the next generation of bookkeepers. The next generation bookkeeper will have networking opportunities, technology opportunities, a higher standard of core competencies and business path guidance. Supported by a completely independent global company in ICBs, ICB believes in local focus, national accreditation and global Recognition.
Join us on the journey to becoming a true community, helping me raise the voice in our bookkeeping industry. Tell me what you want in the US; my ears are open!